First stop for the Davao Food Appreciation Trip 2008 was Lachi's Sans Rival Atbp., a small shop that's well-known in Davao for its cakes and desserts.
I had been to Lachi's once before, and that was to buy sans rival (a cake made of wafers, nuts, butter, butter, and more butter) to give as a gift. I didn't know it to offer lunch and dinner as well. That's what I found out on Friday night on my second visit.
Really, there was just one problem: I arrived very late; in fact, I was the last one to arrive, everyone else having finished dinner and just about to start with the desserts. I was late because I still had to close the store, and took my sweet time refreshing myself at home. After all, I thought they would just be serving sweets. How wrong I was!
Luckily for me, they saved me a plate of fish fillet, fried golden brown in breadcrumbs, and a siding of tartar sauce. The presentation was rather plain, but I was so hungry (and embarrassed) I quickly dug in. And what do you know? It was, as fish fillets go, pretty good: lightly fried and not too oily (I'm sure it would have been better hot but that was all my fault), the essence of fish still intact and not overwhelmed by extenders and breadcrumbs.
Well, there was another problem: a portion of the fish fillet had been daintily carved out; not a huge chunk, really, but noticeable. But since the culprit was so pretty, I mostly let it pass. Nothing like a little guilt trip to start off conversation.
Look at all the dishes I missed! Waaaugh!
And then...they rolled out the cakes. From then on, it was a dessert fiesta. The cakes came as a blur and I confess I didn't write down their names any more. But trust me, they were all good. My favorites were the mudpie and the Oreo cheesecake. Delicious!
As a restaurant, Lachi's comes across a little plain, and whether that's good or bad depends on how you view it. It's definitely clean and homey, and if you go for a quiet no-frills dining experience, Lachi's is the place. Some folks go for ambience, and on that department Lachi's lacks a bit. Look at it this way: it's not a place you'd take a first date to, but once you know the other person fairly well, it's a shop that's not to be missed. The food is certainly worth it; and, as my friends assure me, Lachi's has a steady stream of customers throughout the day, and that's testament enough.
Rounding out the evening's experience was the warm hospitality of the proprietors, twin brothers Mike and Melvin Aviles.
Lachi's is at Door 1-H VAL Learning Village, Ruby Street, Marfori Heights. If you somehow get lost, ask for the old AMA building; people will know where it is. You can also call them at 082 224-5552.
Lachi's also supplies other restaurants in Davao City with its cakes and pastries.
Photos by Andrew.